From POLITICS DAILY:
In “Going Rogue,” Sarah Palin settled some scores with those she felt had done her wrong, including top aides to John McCain. One of the aides who came in for some of the most blistering criticism was a top campaign strategist, Steve Schmidt, and he’s now punching back. But paybacks can be tough, as Schmidt demonstrated in his appearance on CBS’ “60 Minutes” Sunday night.
According to Schmidt, McCain was set to pick Sen. Joe Lieberman as his running mate, but, “once word leaked out . . . the blowback was ferocious.” Immediately following Palin’s selection, he described her as having been “nonplussed.” When he asked Palin if she was nervous, she said, “No, it’s God’s plan.”
Regarding Palin’s vice presidential debate against then-Sen. Joe Biden, Schmidt asserted that during the campaign, a staffer prepping Palin warned him that “the debate was going to be a debacle of historic and epic proportions.” Schmidt also said that the reason Palin asked Biden, “Can I call you Joe?” at the beginning of their square-off was in order to avoid an embarrassing verbal tick: During rehearsal she kept calling him “O’Biden.”
Ultimately, though, Schmidt concluded that Palin “more than held her own” in the debate, even if she had failed to clear the hurdle known as Katie Couric. Schmidt told “60 Minutes” correspondent Anderson Cooper that Palin failed to properly prepare for her dreadful performance in the Couric interview because she was too focused on answering written questions for an Alaska newspaper.
Schmidt also went on to question Palin’s past – and current– veracity: “There were numerous instances that she said things that were . . . not accurate, that ultimately the campaign had to deal with and that opened the door to criticism that she was being untruthful and inaccurate,” he told Cooper. “And I think that that is something that continues to this day.”
And that is not all that the former McCain aide has done to annoy conservatives. This past April, he appeared before the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay rights group, and endorsed gay marriages – a position at odds with the stated position of McCain, Palin and virtually every other Republican office holder in the United States with realistic aspirations of national office. Schmidt went on to note that the GOP was in danger of becoming a “Religious Party.”
Moreover, in October Schmidt said Palin would be a potentially “catastrophic” choice for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination; in November, he characterized her memoirs “total fiction.”
Ultimately, however, even Schmidt will not say that McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate was a mistake: “Had she not been on the ticket,” he said, “our margin of defeat would have been even greater.”
Oh well, Schmidt happens!